How Palestinian Activists Could Influence President Biden, with Fadi Quran

Published January 26th, 2021 - 09:31 GMT
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Palestinian protests (AFP/FILE)
The year 2021 looks to be a big one for the status of Palestine and of Palestinians.

We have the end of Trump and his Middle East envoys that cut Palestinians out of talks, and a new Biden foreign policy doctrine that so far seems more malleable to Palestinian concerns, if only on paper. 

 

But Palestinians must also deal with a more militarized Israeli state and a set of ruling parties who have staked their electoral strategies around promoting ethno-nationalism and illegal settlements in the West Bank. On top of this, Palestinians will likely begin to feel the consequences of diplomatic normalization between Israel and Arab states like the U.A.E. and Morocco, who are forging economic ties that could deeply impact the Palestinian economy. 

To help get a grip of how all these changes will affect Palestinians, I’ll be speaking today with Fadi Quran, a prominent Palestinian activist. Quran knows what it’s like to live under boot of Israel’s military occupation. 

Fadi Quran - Al-Shabaka

Fadi Quran (Courtesy of Fadi Quran)

He has been arrested numerous times for organizing and participating in peaceful demonstrations against the unequal treatment of Palestinians by the Israeli state, he has been held in solitary confinement by Israeli police.

One direct action Quran helped to lead borrowed from the ‘Freedom Riders’ tactics of the American civil rights movement from the 1960s. Palestinian activists boarded an Israeli commuter bus that links Jewish settlements in the West Bank to Jerusalem. When Israeli police asked the Palestinians activists for a permit to enter Jerusalem, the activists demanded the right to freely travel without approval from the Israeli military.

They were hauled off to a detention center. During the bus action, Quran wore a t-shirt that read: “We shall overcome.” 

And with the status of Palestinian political and economic equality in flux, Quran emphasizes now the role Western media plays in portrayals of Palestine and of Palestinians. So the first part of our discussion will be about what Palestinian activists think of the incoming Biden administration and what kind of tactics and strategies they’re looking to deploy for the next few years.

We’ll then hone in on how their reception and coverage by powerful Western media outlets will play an influential role in how the Biden team responds to the occupation of the West Bank and continued suffocation of the Gaza Strip. 


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